The Korea Herald


Remake songs abundant as K-pop goes 'newtro'

By Song Seung-hyun

Published : March 19, 2024 - 13:51

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K-pop boyband Riize (SM Entertainment) K-pop boyband Riize (SM Entertainment)

Listeners of Korean pop music from around two decades ago will find many of the songs on today's popular music charts familiar, as remake songs continue to gain popularity.

On Melon, the largest Korean music streaming platform, Lim Jae-hyun's "Rhapsody of Sadness" and boy band Riize's "Love 119" have secured spots on the Top 10 popular music chart as of Tuesday. The two tracks are remakes of the originals: "Rhapsody of Sadness" by singer Choi Jae-hoon in 2000 and band izi's "Emergency Room" in 2005, respectively.

They are among the 50 remake songs released so far this year, including popular girl band aespa's rendition of "Regret of the Times," originally sung by Seo Taiji and Boys in 1995; Kim Sung-kyu's take on "The Wind is Blowing," originally by Lee So-ra in 2004; and NewJeans' version of "Our Night is More Beautiful Than Your Day," originally by Kona in 1996.

Industry experts attribute this phenomenon to the “newtro” trend popular among younger demographics. A portmanteau of the words "new" and "retro," its signifies a new interpretation of vintage elements across fashion, retail and various other domains.

"Given the current global economic uncertainty, the resurgence of past hits in K-pop is expected to persist for the time being," Sookmyung Women's University business professor Seo Yong-gu said.